The Arizona Cardinals have made the necessary moves to get their roster down to 53 players, although that does not preclude other moves. Most of the moves were expected. Others are interesting. Yet others signal perhaps versatility on the roster or perhaps a potential target on the waiver wire.
So who are those surprises? Let's take a look.
OLB Clark Haggans: The team brought him back to be a veteran mentor and to provide some pass rush on a part-time basis, perhaps like Bertrand Berry when he was playing. However, while he was not anything spectacular in the preseason, you figured he would be the backup to one of the young linebackers. The surprise, though, is not so much in his being cut, but the fact that they only kept three OLB.
Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield will start, but they are backed up by only Quentin Groves. This signals one of two things. Either the team is targeting a player on waivers, or they expect to see versatility from other players. My thoughts lean towards the latter. Both Stewart Bradley and Reggie Walker had strong preseasons and can play both inside and out. I expect to see both rotated in and out both inside and out
WR DeMarco Sampson: The Cardinals have kept six receivers for some time. This year it is five. And undrafted rookie LaRon Byrd made the roster over Sampson, who made several nice plays in the preseason and was a special teams contributor. The fact that only five receivers were kept seems to signal a move to use less spread sets with John Skelton at quarterback.
CB Michael Adams: Money Mike managed to squeeze his way onto the Cardinals roster yet another season. In their final 53, the team kept six cornerbacks and five safeties. With the addition of William Gay and the drafting of Jamell Fleming, combined with the fact that A.J. Jefferson had played so much a season ago, Adams seemed to be the odd man out. Instead, the team has traded Jefferson and Adams will probably be relegated to special teams. But he made the roster.
Outside of these three players, there was not much in the way of surprises. More moves are likely on the way.
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